Current affairs 10th July, 2019

1. Powers of SEBI & RBI in Finance Bill 2019

It has given greater powers to regulate Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) including powers to seek financial and related information about the group companies. The National Housing Bank (NHB) Act, 1987 was amended to take away regulation authority over the Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) from NHB and to RBI. Section 45-ID and 45-IE were added to the RBI Act, 1934. It empowers RBI to remove one director or supersede the entire board of directors in the public interest or financial stability or securing ‘proper’ management or prevent affairs of a NBFC being conducted in a manner detrimental to depositors /creditors. Under newly inserted section 45MBA, RBI is empowered to frame schemes to amalgamate an NBFC with any other NBFC or reconstruct it, or split the NBFC into different units.

2. FAC under MoEFCC recommended ‘in-principle’ approval for Uranium exploration

A panel under the Ministry of Forest and Environment has recommended for "in-principle" permission for exploration of Uranium in Amrabad Tiger Reserve in Telangana. The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) under the Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change made the recommendation at its meeting on May 22. The Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research (AMD) had earlier sought the permission from the Ministry of Forest to carry out survey and drilling of boreholes around Amrabad-Udimalla (Mahaboobnagar district)-Narayanpur (Nalgonda district), with the aim to establish Uranium deposits.

3. The National Museum of Indian Cinema launched “NMIC Bulletin“

A fortnightly bulletin of the National Museum of Indian Cinema, brought out by the Films Division, was launched here Tuesday, with veteran film maker Jahnu Barua hoping that it will become a platform for movie buffs and other stakeholders. Barua described the newsletter "NMIC Bulletin" as a fantastic initiative by the Films Division. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in January inaugurated the museum, whose portions occupy a 19th century heritage bungalow and a modern building in south Mumbai.

4. India’s first cow sanctuary Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya in Madhya Pradesh to be privatised

India’s first cow sanctuary, set up by the previous BJP-led Madhya Pradesh government in September 2017, will be privatised by the Congress-led government, an official said. Kamdhenu Gau Abhyaranya in Agar Malwa, 190 km north west of Bhopal, was developed by the MP Gau Samvardhan Board by spending about Rs 32 crore. Around 4,000 cows are living in the sanctuary which is spread across 472 hectares. The decision of privatisation is being taken due to financial crises. Soon, the department will issue a notification to invite interested organisations, said a higher officer of the Animal Husbandry department.

5. India’s first elephant rehabilitation centre will be set up at Kerala’s Kottoor

The centre, expected to have an elephant museum, mahout training centre, super-specialty hospital, a retirement home and crematorium for the animals, will house orphaned, injured and older elephants. It is being planned on the lines of the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka. The Kerala government is working to set up the country’s first elephant rehabilitation centre in Kottoor, an ecotourism village near the state capital Thiruvananthapuram. The first phase of the Rs 105 crore-project was launched last month by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

6. New Delhi’s Connaught Place is the 9th most expensive office location in the world

New Delhi's Connaught Place (CP) is the ninth most expensive office location in the world with an annual rent of nearly USD 144 per sq ft, according to property consultant CBRE. CP, located in the heart of the national capital, was at the ninth position even last year.  In its annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs survey, CBRE tracks the cost of leasing prime office space globally. For the second year, Hong Kong's Central district retained the top spot as the world as the world's most expensive market for prime office rents, with the prime occupancy costs valued at USD 322 per sq.ft.

7. Saudi Arabia adopts Digital India &‘equality of women’ motto for Haj 2019

With Saudi Arabia adopting equality of women as one of its motto in hosting the pilgrims, this year’s Haj has become very special for women. Not only this, but the Haj authority is also encouraging Digital India by introducing the Haj app, that will provide all sorts of help to the Haj pilgrims. This was announced by Indian Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed at a press conference along with Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh to give a brief about ongoing Indian Haj operation in Saudi Arabia.

8. Overall Homicide Rate declined by 10% in India: UN Report

The overall homicide rate in India has decreased by 10 per cent over a period of six years till 2015 but the trend increased "noticeably" in some northern states, according to a UN report. The Global Study on Homicide 2019 published Monday by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that about 464,000 people across the world were killed in homicides in 2017, an increase from 395,542 in 1992. In India, the number of homicide victims fell from 48,167 in 2000 to 46,460 in 2010, 44,373 in 2015 and 42,678 in 2016. Males constitute less than 20 per cent of the total homicide victims in 2016 in India, it said.

9. NHAI inks pact with NIIF to fund highway projects

In 2015, Centre had set up NIIF to fund commercially viable greenfield, brownfield and stalled projects, thereby giving boost to the country’s infrastructure sector. Such an arrangement is expected to bring huge investment at an economical rate for the development of highways in the country. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday inked a deal with quasi-sovereign wealth fund National Investment Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to fund large greenfield road projects, which will be executed by the highway authority in the future. “NHAI is raising finances for its mega projects, and is not dependent only upon budgetary support. Several funding models were adopted in the past towards this, which have yielded good results.

10. Parliament adopts a statutory resolution for levying 200% duty on all Pakistani goods

The Upper House also adopted the move to increase basic custom duty (BCD) on lentils (masur), boric acid and diagnostic and laboratory reagents. The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed a statutory resolution for levying 200 per cent duty on all goods exported from Pakistan. The resolution sought to raise BCD on lentils from 40 per cent to 50 per cent. The duty on boric acid would go up from 17.5 per cent to 27.5 per cent. For diagnostic items, the duty increase is from 20 per cent to 30 percent.

11. New World Heritage sites included in the list by UNESCO

From iron works in Burkina Faso that date back nearly three millenniums, to the fortified and planned city of Jaipur in India, to the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, Unesco has added a broad array of cultural and natural marvels to its World Heritage List. To be included on the list, a site must meet at least one of 10 criteria, like being a landmark of human history or culture, an ecological wonder, or “a masterpiece of human creative genius.” Unesco’s World Heritage Committee considered 35 nominations this year and accepted 29 from around the world, some of them composed of multiple sites, covering the full range of categories. That is “a relatively high but not unusual number,” said Mechtild Rössler, the director of the organization’s World Heritage Center in Paris.

12. Russia successfully launched its Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with 33 satellites

Russia's Meteor-M No.2-2 hydrometeorological satellite was successfully put into a target orbit with a height of about 832 km, Roscosmos said in a live broadcast. Russia successfully launched its Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket on Friday with a hydrometeorological satellite and 32 small satellites, the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said. The rocket blasted off at 8.41 a.m. (local time) from the Vostochny spaceport in the Far Eastern Amur Region, it said in a statement. The satellite will be able to provide images of clouds, the surface of the Earth, ice and snow covers in the visible, infrared and microwave ranges.

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